A vehicle being driven by a Clinton teenager ran into a light pole on Sunday afternoon, closing a busy stretch of U.S. 701 extending through Clinton and an estimated $80,000 in damage along with sporadic power outages. The investigation into the incident is still ongoing, Clinton Police officials said.
Around 11:57 a.m. Sunday, Willie Johnson, 16, of Clive Jacobs Road, was traveling north on Southeast Boulevard when he lost control of the 2012 Dodge Charger he was driving. According to police, Johnson, who is employed by Boykin’s Car Wash on Lisbon Street, was driving a Charger that belonged to Sampson County Department of Social Services.
Clinton Police Chief Donald Edwards said his understanding was that the vehicle was being taken to the car wash, however the probe is continuing.
“He lost control of the vehicle and crossed over the southbound lanes, traveling roughly 260 feet before striking the curb,” said Edwards. After impact, the vehicle continued off the roadway, striking a mailbox belonging to Pearson Crop Production, a Duke Energy light pole and a vehicle located at H&H Glass.
In total, The Dodge Charger traveled an additional 150 feet after first striking the curb before coming to rest at H&H Glass Company, Edwards noted.
Sampson County emergency medical personnel were dispatched and Johnson was taken to Sampson Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
“The utility pole was broken and lines were blocking the road, so the roadway was closed,” said Edwards. “It remained closed for several hours. “
Tee police chief noted that an estimated $80,000 in damage was inflicted due to the wreck.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” said Edwards. “Preliminary investigation indicates speed was a factor. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.